Scientific Sessions Update: Diabetes Prevention is Cost Effective

While having diabetes has presented me with some great opportunities, I am always an advocate for diabetes prevention because I don’t want anyone else to have to face life with diabetes. A study presented today at the American Diabetes Association’s Scientific Sessions provided another reason to support prevention of type 2 diabetes: it’s cost effective.

This information comes from a 10-year cost-effectiveness analysis that was a follow-up to the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), the same landmark study I mentioned yesterday. DPP enrolled participants who had impaired fasting glucose tolerance and put them into three groups: one group took metformin as treatment, one group used lifestyle intervention (which aimed for 7% weight loss and 150 minutes of moderate activity each week), and a third group that was used as a placebo.

The investigators found that after 10 years, the cost of treating the group with metformin actually saved money compared to the placebo. Although lifestyle intervention costs money as well, researchers found that when they measured both the costs and the improvement in the quality of life, lifestyle intervention was very cost effective as compared to the placebo group.

“This puts diabetes prevention in the category of prenatal care or pediatric immunizations,” said William H. Herman, MD, MPH, co-investigator of the DPP Research Group. “It’s dramatic when an intervention can improve the health of the population and potentially save money at the same time.”

What excites me about this is that it demonstrates multiple reasons for preventing type 2 diabetes: your health, your happiness, and your wallet. Diabetes is a major public health crisis. By dedicating ourselves to diabetes prevention both as individuals and as a society, we are leading the path to invest in our future and Stop Diabetes®.

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